Planning Your Success: We're Here to Help!

June 12, 2024: Personas, Your Process, Tips
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Planning Your Success: We're Here to Help!

Sunny days, higher temperatures, and...decreased motivation? If you feel less motivated in the summer, you aren't alone. Studies show that rising temperatures can decrease energy and productivity levels—not to mention all the other factors. With schedule switch-ups due to vacations and kids being out of school, it's no surprise that this is the time of year when many, sometimes unconsciously, set their writing aside. Then, comes Labor Day—summer's over, and total progress = 0. So, what's a writer to do? Let's discuss.
The first option is obvious. You take the summer off from your novel and return in the fall. Crossing your fingers you’ll have a renewed sense of motivation. Unfortunately, you'll be right where you left off in your novel. You’ll need to re-immerse yourself in your project and settle back into your writing rhythm, which can be challenging.
beach towel manuscript

"One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by."
–Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

Alternatively, you could choose to acknowledge this lack of motivation creeping in with the longer days and fight it. Set a realistic summer goal to give yourself a target, and plan how you'll reach it. Push through the temptation to neglect your story and work. Then, at the end of the season, have something to show for your efforts and feel a sense of accomplishment. Obviously, we hope you choose this alternative :-)
To make it work, here's a tip: have a plan—not a one-size-fits-all "write a novel in ninety days" type plan. Your strategy for reaching success should be custom, taking your personality and preferences into account. This plan should realistically assess your strengths (while acknowledging weaknesses) in order to develop the tactics you need to produce great work and succeed as an author.
That's why we developed our Free Success Plan. It encapsulates our experiences working with hundreds of writers into a relatively short questionnaire that allows us to begin to get to know you. It includes some sections you'd expect, like your goals and writing process, as well as some you wouldn't. The most important of these is your writerly persona. If you’re wondering, what exactly is a persona? keep reading.
Essentially, a persona is a category of person, a summary of critical traits that many individuals share, distilled into an ideal type. We use personas all the time in daily life, as well as our writing. For example, If a friend calls someone an “overachiever” you know exactly what they mean. More importantly, once you recognize someone's "overachiever-ness" you have a better idea of how to interact with them, and what to expect.
Even so, humans are too complex to fit into any single category, which means you share characteristics from many personas. However, personas are still an incredibly useful analytic tool. At Bardsy we use personas as a shorthand to describe specific challenges members are facing, which in turn, suggests solutions.
After you complete this assessment, Adam or I will review your responses and assign a member of our coaching team whose personality best fits yours. Their thorough analysis will help them understand who you are as a writer and what that means for your goals. Keep in mind there's no algorithm producing boilerplate responses. A trained educator—and published author—will review each response as your interim coach. By getting to know you and your goals, they'll be able to chart a path from where you are to where you want to be. They'll email you once your plan is ready.

"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do" - Pelé

mountaintop success

What's in a Free Success Plan?

  • Your Writing Persona: This portion addresses your personality and explains the writing persona types that best fit you—most people are a combination–so that you can understand what motivates your writing. You can learn more about writing personas in our blog series, here.
  • Your Writing Practice Analysis: Your writing history, practice, strengths, and weaknesses will all be examined. This is how your coach determines what particular mix of writer personas you are.
  • Your Next Steps: Your coach will use their understanding of your personas to suggest the optimal way for you to reach your writing goals. This action plan is based on years of research, and what we've seen work for successful writers.
Knowing your writing persona allows you to work in alignment with your personality, not against it. Not only does this improve efficiency, but it will also make the writing process much more pleasant. Then once you have your Success Plan, it's time to use what you’ve learned to do the work. A plan alone doesn’t ensure success, you’ll also need drive and persistence—but those are topics for next week. Right now, it's time for you to complete your Success Plan assessment, and start thinking about what you want to accomplish by the end of the summer.
The Success Plan is free and available to everyone (members and non-members alike). Make this summer your most productive season yet by taking the assessment here. (Members: click "Update my free assessment.") You can also view a sample plan here.
PS: Don’t forget the deadline for our 2024 Spring Anthology Contest is looming on the horizon! Submit your short story (one with a compelling hook!) today so you’ll have more time to revise before judging. Learn more here.

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